Too Scared to Leave Lucrative Job Even Though I Really Want to Be a SAHM or WAHM

Updated on August 14, 2011
K.K. asks from Fremont, CA
37 answers

I work as a senior attorney at a large law firm. I also have a 10 month old baby and love being a mom. The job pays extremely well but is incredibly demanding. I end up working almost every night after my baby goes to sleep and frequently on weekends. However, the job is also is flexible in that I can telecommute when I want to and I take advantage of that a couple days a week. The majority of our earnings go straight into our savings account so every month I work I am able to see the tangible benefit of my sacrifice. However, I am starting to deeply resent my job even though I feel like I should feel lucky to have this great income in this economy. Going part-time at my job is not a great option since typically attorneys who go part time end up working full time for part time pay. One option for me is to go in-house to work as legal counsel for a corporation instead. That would give me better hours (40/week instead of 60/week and probably no weekends). However, there is less flexibility in that you usually cannot telecommute and I would also be taking about a 30% pay cut (but per hour it is probably the same). Another option is to quit and work on my own as a solo attorney. That would let me work at home but it would also be challenging. It would also be a significant pay cut.

I am afraid I am being short sighted and am worried about the future and the economy (e.g. what if my husband loses his job) that I am afraid to walk away from such a lucrative career. On the other hand, what good is money in the end? I know it might be hard to sympathize with me since I am blessed and I know many are struggling, but I am having a really hard time deciding what to do.

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L.M.

answers from New York on

Completely my opinion - it is your family and in the end you know best for your family, not me! But I say leave the job. Your baby is little - will not be little long. She will become a teen and not want to be seen with you...and you will wish you had those snuggly days back. I have worked part time since I had #1 and now with #3 I will be part time working from home. I am so happy to be there for my kids, raising them with my values and not someone else's and raising them to be great people. I LOVE spending this time with them and even though money is tight for us because I don't work full time, I don't care. My kids would rather have me and I'd rather be with them. I think you could go solo and make it, even if it is alot less money.
Good luck to you!!! I know this is not an easy decision for you.

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L.A.

answers from San Francisco on

I walked away from a lucrative career in accounting (working for a large Silicon Valley corp) to stay home with our 3 boys when they were about 7, 8 & 9 respectively and have never regretted my decision. That was in 1984. I always kept my hand in part-time working for my husband as his bookkeeper. Our boys needed an at home Mom and they LOVED having me available. They grow so fast and I would have missed out on so much had I stayed with my job as an accounting supervisor working an average of 6 days per week and 10-12 hours per day (sometimes more). Once my youngest hit his junior year in HS, I went back to work 3 days per week for a non profit in an accounting position. I held several part-time jobs for a variety of small businesses from the mid 1990's until about 5 years ago. I now own/operate my own bookkeeping business and have about 7 steady clients, something I now wish I had done long ago. I'm making more money now than ever before and am in total control of my work load and hours I work.
The point here is...listen to your heart. What is best for you and your family? Only you know the answer to that. You and hubby should really talk about this, discuss the pros and cons, pray about it too if you're so inclined (He will guide you). Your career, perhaps in a different format, will be there when you're ready to get back to it full time. Once kiddies are in school there are all kinds of part-time opportunities, which could include volunteer work, where you can practice your expertise. Money is just money and while the lack of it can make life difficult, it isn't everything. Create memories with your family...only you, and time with your family, can do that. Memories last a lifetime.
Good luck with your decision. Whatever it is, it will be the right one for you and your family.

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P.B.

answers from Spartanburg on

I would never be financially dependent by someone else (even my hubby) especially with a child. What if he loses his job, like you said, or x, y, z happens? You want to be able to have that freedom and confidence that, no matter what happens, the baby is taken care of...the economy is horrible right now and being out of the job market for a while hurts the chance of an easy come back in case you change your mind, or if you HAVE to go back to work. Plus, with parenting, quality rather than quantity should be the key-word and since your job gives you some flexibility as well, why don't you consider yourself a lucky gal? You can make more things work by keeping your job than leaving it. If you do a great job, coworkers and boss will be more understanding when the time comes and your baby needs you a little more. Having a child is the reason to keep the job, rather than the reason to leave it. I would never, EVER, lose my independence. But, of course, this is just my opinion.

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L.M.

answers from New York on

If I was in the position, I would not leave my job at this time, but would reevaluate the situation in another 9 months. Here's why...

Although your baby will always need you, at this point in his life he takes naps, plays independently, etc. You can get work done while telecommuting. As your baby gets older, he will need more of your time and attention. Plan now so you can have that in the future.

You don't know what the ecomony is going to do. You don't know about your husband's long term employment. You're in a position to save, keep saving, it can't hurt.

I would take the 9 months to carefully look at all your options and explore them. What type of corporate jobs are available in your area? What if you do go out on your own - do you have clients, office space, etc.?

Good luck with your decission.

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R.C.

answers from Phoenix on

I quit my job as a Nurse Midwife when my daughter was born 6 yrs ago and have never regretted it. It was a really great job, no on call, terrific bonuses, and just four 8-10 hour shifts a week. I loved it, but I just loved my baby so much more. I wanted to raise my own kids instead of always picking up and dropping off and all the stress that I would experience with that. My husband had and still has a good job with a comparable salary to mine. So, we planned ahead and as soon as we got married we lived just on one salary. 3 yrs and 9 months later we had our first child and we I quit work. There were some minor adjustments, but looking back I still think it was the best decision. We were still able to become debt-free when we paid off our mortgage 2 yrs ago. Sure, extra money from my salary should I have kept working would be nice, but not near as nice as the memories made with these 3 precious little people. I'd be more than a 1/2 million dollars richer if I'd continued working (well maybe not that much once IRS took 1/3--ugh), but it wouldn't trade these lower stress times just loving my husband and kids devoting my full attention to them. I found that I was quickly replaced at work, but irreplaceable at home. Nurse Midwife Mom of 3

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T.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

I haven't thoroughly read the other responses and I may be in the minority for saying this, but make the decision that is going to bring happiness to your family...even if it means walking away from a great salary. Get your long term goals in line now and start acting on them - especially if you plan on having more children. 5-10 years from now do you see yourself in the same job? Or have you always dreamed of being a stay at home mom? Or maybe a private practice lawyer? Can you imagine having 2 or 3 children with your current job schedule? Does your job give you flexibility to take time to take kids to swim class, play dates or even just quality time with the family?
I think you may already know the decision that you want to make..its just a BIG decision and its scary to actually commit to. Follow your heart and you will never fail.

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T.C.

answers from Dallas on

Can you survive off of one income should your ideas not work out? If so, I would highly consider quitting and doing something that allows you to see your baby more.

You never know what the future holds when it comes to the economy and jobs, but you do know that right now you are missing out a ton of your child growing up and it sounds like it's not sitting right with you. It wouldn't with me either. I'm a SAHM by choice because I can't stand the thought of missing out on my children's lives or having someone else spend most of the time raising my kids (and that's not meant as any judgement to anyone else who chooses otherwise. It's just my own feelings for me).

I've never regretted that I stay home. I absolutely LOVE it. Sure, we don't have as much money as we could if I had a career, but my husband has really stepped up and works hard to be successful in his career and provide well for us. It's important to him as well that i'm with the kids. (and it's made him seem more "manly" and attractive to me as well...hehe).

I know you have to take into account the economy and how to keep a stable income, but is that enough to miss out SO MUCH on your baby? I think you should follow your mommy instinct and be with your baby more.

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S.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

There is no stable job right now, none. Keep your job. You or your husband could be out of work at any time. I know that sounds pessimistic, but it is also realistic.

I've worked for an Outplacement company for almost four years. I have counseled hundreds of people who have been laid off from their jobs. Some have taken two years or longer to find employment. Some went from comfortable lives to fear of homelessness in mere months.

The great thing is that you have options. It's not either work long hours or be unemployed. I would wait at this point. Your child will appreciate your presence more when they are older. I know people who waited to downgrade their job until their kids were in middle school. That's when they need supervision, when they are too old for daycare and old enough to get into serious trouble left alone for hours a day.

Enjoy that your job has some flexibility and that your savings acccount is growing! Your baby needs that, too!

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J.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

The month before I had my first child my husband got a new job doubling his salary. The increase in his pay was what I made in a year:). We never got used to extra income because I stayed home for the first 14 months of my daughters life. At that point all my friends were working and my husband worked a ton of hours. I went back to work PT and we put my salary into savings. Eventually, I had my third child and I have not gone back to work. Never been happier! If your husband makes a good income then my advice would be take a pay cut and work PT either for yourself or in a less demanding environment. - I do admit I sometimes wonder what life would be like if I had continued to work as I watch some of my friends purchasing vacation homes. Although we are not in a financial position to buy a second home we do take great family vacations and I just think our family's quality of life would be no where near as good if my kid's and husband had a stressed, resentful mom/wife.

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L.G.

answers from Eugene on

Stick it out. This is no economy to take a chance with your financial well being. Given todays news and the trouble in the Eurozone I'd keep working and remember to go swimming (baby swim) a few days a week at the Y.

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R.K.

answers from Appleton on

Time for the pro-cons list.
Another thing to think about who carries the insurance for your family? If you carry the insurance, check to see when the next sign on time is for your hubby's company and if there is a difference in cost.

One good thing about your job, if you leave now on good terms and have a good reputation in the company, maybe you can go back in a few years or if hubby loses his job. In the meantime you could work a solo and build your own reputation in the community and hopefully grow a good business and maybe not need the chance to go back to the old job.

I agree with you on the money vs family. What good is a lot of money if you can't spend time with your child. It's great to be able to buy him a nice shiny new bike. But he would probably rather have a used one if that means Mom and Dad are there to reach him how to ride. (this is an example)

Good luck--this is a difficult decision to have to make.

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A.H.

answers from Fort Smith on

I can understand what you going thru, however on a much smaller pay scale. Less than a year after we bought our home, 6 months after my second was born and one month after I purchased a new car, I was laid off. I was lead over 5 stores, and they shut every one of them down. I pulled kids out of daycare, since we couldn't afford it, and looked around. About 6 month before my oldest was supposed to start kindergarten, I started thinking about homeschooling. We went over pros and cons for months and finally decided to keep the kids at home. I am now officially about to start our 3rd year of homeschooling, and I wouldn't want to go back. It has been brought up several times about me going back to work, mostly by people on the outside. Right now, we do go through tough times financially, but since my husband works second shift, if my kids were to go to school, they would not hardly see him. My husband has had friend bring up me getting another job, One especially will say to him make me get a job so he can get a motorcycle. I explained to one that I know that at this point in our life sacrifices do have to be made, But that my children would not be one of them. Of course, I really want to contribute, and have tried out many different things to do at home. I have faith that soon I will find the right one. In the mean time, I know that making sure that my children have a great relationship with their father and knowing that they will be very well educated so they can have a successful career and life when they get older is more important to me than have a bigger home, a motorcycle or thousands of dollars worth of clothing. Besides, if need be, they will be out of the house and on their own and I can work then.
The only thing I regret is not preparing more. I wish I would have strongly considered homeschooling and working towards having a business at home before having children. But, live and learn. And now I can teach that to my own children.
If your a Praying woman, do so. God will lead you to where you need to be.

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C.O.

answers from Washington DC on

I understand your dilemma.

Does your husband have a stable and secure job?
Do you have at least six months livable income in savings so that if he lost his job you guys would be okay for at least six months?

Being a lawyer is a tough job and it's hard to balance work and home life. I like the idea of taking 3 to six months off as an unpaid absence and see how you handle it. If you guys can survive off your husband's income and not dip into savings - then go for it...

If you want to keep your license and everything current? I would do more tele-commuting and keep my job. I know it's not like my job - where it's basically 8 to 7 hours - when I have contracts to work on - I could be sitting on the beach in the Bahamas - as long as I have a phone and computer - I'm set....

No one can make this decision for you...weigh your pros and cons - be your own judge on the case, as it were and go from there...if you are scared about your husband's job not being secure - I'm sorry - keeping a roof over my family's head and food in their belly's is more important...

GOOD LUCK!!

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A.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Two perspectives from where I stand:

Life is short -- sooner than you think, you will be a decade away from retirement age and wondering and worrying about how you are going to do it.

Life is short -- sooner than you think, your children will be grown, and you will wish you had taken advantage of every precious moment with them.

Make your pro/con list. In my experience, when you get to the point where you deeply resent your job, there is usually no turning back from that and it is time to move on.

I think the 6 month leave of absence is a good idea.

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T.H.

answers from San Francisco on

I recommend that you spend as much time with your baby as possible, as time passes so quickly, and you'll never get it back. I understand your conflicted emotions, as I worry about money/security, but if you can see your way to working less, you will not regret it. Someone told me when my son was 6 weeks old that a child's development is a slow process of them growing away from you. My son is almost 21 now, and I wish I hadn't had worked so much.

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J.C.

answers from San Francisco on

I kind of felt the same way earlier this year. I have been teaching kindergarten/1st grade for the past 5 years, and I'm totally set at my school. I'm tenured and the principal loves me, blah, blah, blah... But when I started sending my baby to childcare--to a person I didn't even know--I thought to myself, "Why don't I do that?!" So I just got licensed in June and started a childcare/preschool in my home so that I can be home with my baby girl. I needed the income, or I would have just been a SAHM. I took a leave of absence so that if the childcare thing didn't work out, I would have something to fall back on. However, so far, so good... It was a hard decision to make. Teaching jobs are hard to find, and because I was tenured (with many people below me), I didn't have to worry about losing my job. However, I figure I will only have this opportunity once with my daughter... I can always go back to teaching. And I also think that everything happens for a reason, so if I end up not getting enough kids in my program to make a good income, I'll figure out something to make sure my dream of staying home with my daughter will happen.

Good luck to you! And remember--your child is only young once.

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V.J.

answers from San Francisco on

Before you know it your precious child will be grown, if u have the chance to spend more time with baby do it! Your child couldn't care less about the savings account, all that matters to be there as much as you can. Do what's in your heart obviously u answered that in your own post. Good luck and enjoy every minute : )

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J.G.

answers from Springfield on

Could you take a leave of absence? If you could take 6 months off, even without pay, you would get a very good idea of whether or not this is something you really want to do. I work during the school year, and I absolutely adore my kids. But I have to say, I am counting down the days before school starts. The summer has been a bit intense, and I miss my adult time.

It's very easy to see your situation as all or nothing, but I would really take a serious look at the part-time options. It would keep a little money still coming in and keep you with the company. Hopefully it would make it easier for you to go back to working full-time when you decide the time is right. If you leave your job now, you will have to apply for jobs later. It's usually easier to increase to full-time at a company where you have a history and are currently employed part-time than it is to answer an ad.

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D.S.

answers from Houston on

Hang in there mama, I can relate. Very few on this board can understand what the big firm culture is like and how it does not mix with motherhood. My advice is to have more children while you can take advantage of the generous mat leave policies available, continue to build up your savings and your practice skills so that when you finally make this decision you move forward well prepared with no guilt. Best wishes from a fellow mama ex monkey scribe.

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N.P.

answers from San Francisco on

They say money can't buy happiness. They are irrevocably, emphatically, inherently, absolutely *wrong*. The moment you don't have enough of it, and you have a small child to raise up, a knot forms in the pit of your stomach that will not let you enjoy much of anything. There is an overlying sadness even if you manage to find something to smile about.

I am a SAHM by choice and my husband lost his job last year. While he was out of work I was unable to find any work like I had done before and we scraped by on his unemployment check and my infrequent minimum wage retail jobs. He just found employment last week and starts his new job tomorrow. The commute is long and brutal and the pay is less than half of what he made before. He is starting over at the bottom rung of his career ladder and it's a severe blow to him and his feeling of self worth.

We have no savings and have survived this last year by charging overflow of our basic necessities on the credit card. It is a big hole to look up out of and it is desperately depressing.

The *they* who say that money does not buy happiness has never had to be without it and don't really understand. I see all the unhappy celebrities crying about their problems and I want to wrap my fingers around their scrawny necks and shake them until whatever problems they think they have rattle out of their heads and bounce down the manicured, tree lined driveway of their large, expensive homes.

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L.P.

answers from Pittsfield on

Does your husband have reasonably good job security? If so, stay home, if that's what you want. You seem to be in a good position to be able to do that.

Best wishes =o)

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A.D.

answers from San Francisco on

If I were you, I would go with the option to go in-house to work as legal counsel for a corporation. I think it will give you the balance you are looking for... I work for a large tech company in the Silicon Valley and find that it works out perfectly. However, I try very hard to make sure to make sure that the positions I take do not require more than 40 hrs./week and allow for telecommuting. I really wanted to be a SAHM, but didn't go that route, and am so glad as my husband was unemployed for a year a couple of yrs ago and we were able to maintain a good quality of life with just my salary. I also find that I am a good role model for my daughter - showing her that it is possible to have a successful career and contribute to the financial stability of the family. Good luck, whatever you decide!

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L.O.

answers from Detroit on

I left a good paying job when my second child was born. I do not regret it one bit. You have years and years to work.. you have a very short time when your children are young. I was home full time for 2 years. Tehn I was offered a part time contract job for the same company. I worked 2 days per week.. sometimes 3 days per week.. It was a good balance of family time and work time.

Quit your job and enjoy your baby while he is young. You can always go back to work. you cant get this time back with your child.

J.W.

answers from Chicago on

I can relate to your situation. I worked in corporate finance for 10 years before we had our first baby last fall. I had climbed the ladder in my company and had been working in a highly respected director position for over 3 years when I left on maternity leave. I was well compensated with a company car, had colleagues that respected me and would have supported me for further advancement, etc. But the job was incredibly stressful and I worked countless hours. When I left on maternity leave, I expected that I would return to work. But after being home with my son for 3 months, I was dreading going back to work and knew in my heart that I wanted this time at home with him. It was an incredibly difficult decision to walk away from my job - I was concerned about how I would re-enter the workplace when I do decide to return to work and I still worry about that. I have accepted that I may have to start over with both a lesser position and a much lesser salary. But it is worth it to me. I know that I would have resented my job had I gone back to work because my heart was really with my son. While it has been a very big adjustment to go from the very demanding working world of my former corporate life to being a SAHM, I laugh and smile more now each day when I am home with him than I ever did sitting in my corporate office. WIth all that said, my husband is very successful and has a stabile job that allows us to life very comfortably on his salary. He is also a wonderful man and fully supported my decision to stay at home so that made my decision that much easier. Only you know what is best for you and your family, but I would tell you to follow your heart.

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M.S.

answers from Washington DC on

I guess one way to look at it is when you are older and the kids have left the nest will you say to yourself, "I'm so glad I didn't quit my job when so and so was a baby!" or will you say "Quitting and spending more time with the kids was the best thing I ever did!". It's all hypothetical at the moment, but one day, one of these scenarios will be real. Good luck with the decision!

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B.R.

answers from Sacramento on

You're correct that it is difficult for many of us to relate to your situation, because not many of us have such lucrative careers. However, I'm thinking it must be much more difficult for you to make these decisions just because your career is so lucrative.
Having said that, I have a question. How difficult would it be for you to either just quit and stay at home until your children are all in school (I'm assuming you are going to want more than the one, which would put the time you wait out to perhaps as much as ten years). Or, could you assume one of the lower paid positions, that give you more flexible time with your children until they are all in school? Would it then be very difficult for you to get back a position such as you now enjoy? I know these are somewhat rhetorical questions that you can't answer with 100 % certainty, but then there is not guarantee to a 100 % certainty that your present job will continue that long either. None of us knows what tomorrow will bring, so we just have to make the best decisions we can with the information we have at our disposals today.
I totally agree with you that money isn't everything. And I can assure you that the love of your children and the memories you will have of them as a SAHM or a WAHM will be most precious in the years to come. I used to be almost a fanatic against mothers working outside the home. Time and experience have taught me that being a SAHM isn't the right course for all women, so I'm not trying to necessarily push you that direction. Your own statements do indicate to me, however, that you will probably be happier if you make some sort of adjustment in that direction.

Another thing you may want to consider is how much does it cost you to work? I know you have to dress very nicely in your position. Surely you end up eating out a lot which is quite costly. How much does your transportation to and from work... and possibly in the process of doing your work... cost you? All of these things can be considered when you count up the loss of pay you might incur in taking another type of position, that might also have less cost of work involved.

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J.S.

answers from Seattle on

Wait to walk away from your current career, I work from home, 2-6 hrs a day for a direct sales company that allows independent reps to build & expand their business selling products & services online & offers the best pay plan in the industry. Begin building & expanding your business, while keeping your current career, then when your are comfortable with your business financially then quit. This business has an amazing financial return & allows for me to be home with my children.
I want for all moms to be able to financially secure & have the choice to be home raising their children!
Contact me any time, I will be happy to answer your questions & help you launch your business.
Check out video on my profile page http://www.cafemom.com/home/1NorthWestMom

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D.B.

answers from Dallas on

To me the key phrase in your post is "deeply resent my job." It sounds like you're ready to stay home full-time. Quitting your job doesn't mean you're not grateful to have a job. It means your focus is different right now. And it doesn't mean you're being short-sighted. You're looking at the long-term benefits for your child and your family. There's always a give and take. What's short-sighted is to only focus on the financial aspect of this decision. Basically it comes down to choosing how you want to live your life...with fear or hope. Do you keep working and miss out being home with your child (becoming more resentful, unhappy, and possibly depressed) because your husband MIGHT lose his job, or he MIGHT get hurt or sick and be unable to work, or he MIGHT...? Or do you become a SAHM like you want to (which is not always sunshine and roses, but brings blessings that money cannot buy) because your husband MIGHT keep his job, and he MIGHT stay healthy, and everything MIGHT just work out fine? It sounds like you have savings to cushion you in case of a financial setback, and you can always return to work if necessary (keep one foot in the door through volunteer work - I don't know what type of law you practice, but most non-profits need an attorney, and right now especially they could benefit from pro-bono work!). There's never going to be a perfect, risk-free time to decide to become a SAHM. Decide what things you must have in order to feel comfortable quitting (X number of months of salary saved up, etc), and go for it! If it doesn't work out, then so be it. But if you don't even try, it sounds like you'll probably regret it down the road. Best wishes to you and your family!

**I just noticed you're from Fremont! I grew up there and my family is still there. :)

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R.R.

answers from San Francisco on

In today's time, I believe that every adult should be econominally independent. While it is great that one spouse can work and another can take care of home and child. It is a good balance only if the work of 'no salary' spouse is highly valued. Unfortunately, the one who does not bring in money does not get enough recognition in our society. No matter how wonderful the working spouse, when times are not good, all goodness goes out the door. I have learnt it after my 14 yrs of marriage.

I gave up on my ambition to get ahead in career when I had a child. I used to work long hours so I could excel in my career. But I found that I couldn't handle the stress of work politics. I was not afraid of hard work or long hours. But I was not enjoying my life that I was putting out just to get a better title and more income. But it was not worth it as it was causing way too much stress. So I switched to a no more than 40 hrs/week job. What a difference I felt. I never slept better. I was able to make time for recreational acitivities, excercise, and dancing that I enjoy.

But I will say that if you are good at your job and enjoy it, no need to feel guilty about it. It is wonderful that you are great at it and are making a valuable contribution. As long as it is not causing too much stress to you and if you are able to sleep better at night and feel peaceful. It is not necessary that only you make the time to be with the baby, can you husband make more time, can you line up close family members and genuine caregivers who will care for your child? Can you set some limits around your work schedule to make time for yourself and the baby? Make little adjustments first and then gradually increase.

I would also look at it from a perspective of, will your life be better with a low stress job and less money? What are the other things you will be able to enjoy? May be pursue a hobby or enjoy more time with your child? If you find other things rewarding then you can evaluate what is best. So what do you enjoy the most in your life and just work in that direction. You will find ways and everythig else will follow.

Best,
-R

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C.W.

answers from Redding on

You have a lot of great responses...but I wanted to add a few things. You are not alone : - ) I have to say that I guess I am LUCKY to not be able to contemplate this decision in my own life. I am the bread winner (hubby works hard, but just doesn't make what I make) and quiting is just NOT an option right now. That being said, I feel for you. I struggle with this question a lot as well even though I know its simply not an option at this time in my life. But here are a few of the things that go through my head:
- It will be SO hard to get back in the workforce eventually.
- Working from home is easier said than done, nap times get lesser and lesser and you might as well hire a nanny to be able to do a good job in all honesty, otherwise you WILL be neglecting either your kids or your job.
- I am not sure I would enjoy being home ALL the time, sounds good, but do I really think it would work?? I think I would get bored and yearn for that stressful and rewarding job again.
- I wouldn't have to deal with the stresses of daycare!
- I wouldn't be "missing out" on my childrens lives.
My advice? Keep working and maybe strive to put your foot down when it comes to working so many hours. Dont take as many cases, offer to lower your salary a little to compensate for less hours. Being able to telecommunicate etc is priceless and I think that is a lot to give up. If you take a lesser pay job I think you will feel under appreciated and eventually quit all together. Just know that no matter what you decide, you are a GOOD mom who is just doing her best. Try not to feel guilty, it wot get you anywhere ecxept more stressed!
I love my babies more than anything on this planet, but I do what I do because it is what I believe is right for our family in this moment. Maybe this will be different in 5 years, we will cross that bridge when we come to it. Good luck in your decision!

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C.B.

answers from San Francisco on

I also work in the legal field - I am a paralegal. My employer asked me for years to go to law school - even offered to pay! But no way! I saw all the stress and the hours they work and knew that wasn't for me. I always tell anyone talking about being a lawyer that they would work at a law office first and be sure they really want to do it, because attorneys generally work late on weeknights and work more weekends than they don't. But I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. I definitely understand your fear. In this economy, even attorneys are working as paralegals because there are just no jobs out there. And you are right, going part time would only affect your income - not your hours. You have responsibilities that have to be met as an attorney and just because the clock strikes mid day does not relieve you of those responsibilities. If you feel there is a chance that your husband may lose his job, I would hold on to the one you have but maybe try to telecommute 3 days per week, rather than two. If you feel comfortable that your husband's job is secure, then go ahead the take the plunge, but I would definitely continue to work from home just to keep yourself occupied, in the professional world and associating with adults. I think you'll find that you feel a bit unfulfilled if you give up your career completely. Good luck! I know you'll make the best decision for yourself and your family!

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L.C.

answers from San Francisco on

I highly recommend that you consider exploring part time work, either in your current firm or elsewhere. I am an attorney, too, and I have worked part-time since my oldest son was about a year old. There are some weeks that I end up working full time, but I will then scale back my hours during less busy periods as compensation. I recognize that this may be challenging at some law firms and in some kinds of practice areas, but it sounds like you are senior enough to start setting your own boundaries. You can probably accomplish more in 40 hours than a more junior attorney can accomplish in 60. This is one of the ways that you can "sell" this proposal to your managing partner.

I am a litigator, but I still make it work about 85% of the year. Scaling back even slightly can make a tremendous difference in your quality of life. I work approximately 30 hours a week, which means I am home to cook dinner, help my kids with homework, and read bedtime books.

Do I get paid less than I should? Definitely. Is it worth it to spend more time with my kids? Definitely. Good luck!

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R.P.

answers from Sacramento on

Would your job let you take a leave of absence? Then maybe you could pick up some research options preparing briefs etc in the kind of law you practice from home. It would be hard to give up the money because unfortunately that is what buys us all the things we like and gets you all the latest and greatest things for our babies.

Is there anyway your job will let you cut back your hours say to 40 a week? Or maybe let you do all your work from home and come into the office maybe only once or twice a week?

It is a tough decision to make especially in the time we are all going through. I know what ever decision you make is going to be the right one for you so just take whatever plunge your heart tells you to.

Good luck!

R.

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A.C.

answers from San Francisco on

I'm a working mom and can relate really well to your question. My husband just lost his job in June and I'm so glad I kept working. It allows us to not stress too much over money and that is also very important for the family.

Why don't you try to find a corporate job while you are still employed? The better hours might make it manageable and some companies have in-house daycare so you can still stay close to your baby. Having night and weekends for you will make a big difference. Last but not least, a lot of the technology companies allow for telecommuting so you might luck out.

Good luck. It is never an easy choice.

R.R.

answers from San Francisco on

I understand where you are coming from. I went back to work full-time as a psychologist four months after my son was born. Two weeks later, I requested to work part-time since I realized I was gone most of the day and missing him horribly. I realized he will only be this young once. And time has really flown. Now I am at 3 days week and I am so glad I made the change.
I realized that being flexible is key and will change my work status as our life changes with it. Big pay cut? Yes. But we are also lucky right now that both of us have been employed throughout this tough economy. We are doing just fine financially - have to make some small lifestyle changes, but they were mostly "luxury" things anyway.
I assume that since most of your income goes to savings, then what you have left must be enough to let you all live a comfortable lifestyle at the moment. You must have enough in the event of an emergency. If that should happen, you can always reevaluate. The great thing is that you have attained senior status. You have your experience, your education, your husband. I imagine that even on a "lower" income you will still get paid pretty well if your current salary is very high. And also, nothing is forever, if the decision you make is not working...you can always make changes. I've realized this as a new mother. Flexibility is key.
Time is short and the little ones become big ones in such a short time. Enjoy the moment - and find a balance that works for you and your family. The beauty of your dilemma is that you have various options. You and your family have to decide what your values are and what you can and cannot live with. Good luck with your decision.

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R.B.

answers from Chicago on

I work at home for a legitimate business... just an option for you to grow an at home business that replaces your current job. If you want more info, go ahead and go to www.beingunited.com or email me at [email protected]____.com. I would love to help you get home as I have 3 kids and know what it is like to be away from them!

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M.W.

answers from San Francisco on

I don't have any answers for you mama. I just understand your mother heart yearning to be around more for your baby and to not have the stress and pull of the outside world for your time and energy.

I hope you find balance and peace of mind with your decision. I am a SAHM and left my teaching position when pregnant with our first. I didn't renew my contract after summer break and he was born that December...11 years ago. I personally am sooo grateful for all the time with my kids and to be taking care of our home. I have days when I think time is going so fast and it is fuzzy when I think back to when they were younger. I can't even imagine what life would be like with a hectic work schedule. My heart goes out to you.

Talk to your husband...decide what is most important and make a plan together. I personally don't think fear of the "what ifs" should ever make the decisions for you. You need to decide what is best for your family, baby, marriage, home and peace of mind. That may be quitting..that may be in house work..that may be staying with what you are doing now.

Good luck..and best wishes. Oh..10 months old is such a fun age...so sweet, cuddly and yummy. My baby is 5 years old and heading to kindergarten soon...the time flies!!

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